PHOENIX (AP) -- With closer Armando Benitez gone for at least
four months with a torn hamstring, the San Francisco Giants might
have to get used to late-inning scrambles like the one they
withstood Monday night to win their sixth in a row.
The Giants blew a five-run lead before Moises Alou doubled in a
run with two outs in the 10th inning for a 9-8 victory over the
Arizona Diamondbacks in a game that featured 30 hits and 25 runners
left on base.
"That could have been a painful loss," Giants manager Felipe
Catcher Mike Matheny hit San Francisco's fourth grand slam of
the season, but his passed ball on what would have been the third
out of the seventh inning cleared the way for pinch-hitter Tony
Clark's three-run double that tied it at 7. The error also cost
Jason Schmidt his first victory in four starts.
"To take the decision out of Jason's hands, that's just
terrible. That should never happen," Matheny said. "There's no
excuse for that."
Matheny is considered one of the best defensive catchers in the
game, and his mistake made the grand slam almost meaningless to
"For me, consistency behind the plate is why I've been able to
play as long as I have," he said, "and things like that ball
getting past me today, that's hard for me to swallow."
The loss snapped the Diamondbacks' seven-game home winning
streak and left them 0-4 in extra-inning contests.
"We've played a lot of games like this it seems for this early
in the season," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "The good news
is we battled back like crazy again."
Ray Durham had a pair of RBI singles for the Giants before
leaving the game with a sore right groin in the bottom of the
J.T. Snow, who had his second four-hit game in six days, put San
Francisco up 8-7 with a leadoff home run off Mike Koplove in the
eighth, but the Diamondbacks tied it in the ninth when leadoff
batter Luis Gonzalez hit a 3-2 pitch into the swimming pool area in
The homer came off new Giants closer Jim Brower (1-0), his first
blown save in his second opportunity since taking over when Benitez
was injured last Tuesday.
Alou went against the anticipated strategy by not doing a
double-switch when lefty Jason Christensen came in to pitch with
two outs in the eighth inning. If he had have, Christensen would
have been around to pitch to the left-handed Gonzalez to lead off
Instead, Alou went with Brower in the ninth because he is trying
to establish a closer for the rest of the season.
"This is a situation you like to have in spring training if
you're going to have it at all," Alou said. "I know I can look
foolish, like not double switching to let J.C. pitch to Gonzalez.
But is that what we're going to do here for the next six months? Or
are we going to try to develop some kind of a closer?"
Arizona reliever Brian Bruney (0-1) retired the first two
batters in the 10th, but he walked Edgardo Alfonzo on a 3-2 pitch,
then Alou hit one past the diving Shawn Green in left-center to
bring home Alfonzo.
"This was a tough loss for us," Gonzalez said. "We were down,
we came back, went down, came back again."
Arizona trailed 7-2 after three innings and 7-3 after six.
Matt Kata led off the Arizona seventh with a pinch-hit single,
took second on a groundout, then scored on Gonzalez's two-out
single to make it 7-4.
Glaus walked to end Schmidt's night.
Reliever Scott Eyre fanned Green for what would have been the
third out, but the ball got away from Matheny and sailed to the
backstop, the catcher's first passed ball of the season. Green
reached safely to load the bases.
Jeff Fassero relieved Eyre to face Clark. Clark, 2-for-15
against Fassero up to that point, slammed an 0-1 pitch into the
left-center gap to clear the bases and tie the game.
Ortiz was wild from the start and lasted just 3 2/3 innings. He
gave up seven runs on seven hits, walked five and struck out two.
Of his 85 pitchers, 43 were balls.
Glaus hit his eighth home run of the season for the
Diamondbacks, an opposite-field solo shot in the third, to tie
Derek Lee of the Chicago Cubs for the NL lead.
Schmidt, pitching on an extra day's rest, threw 121 pitches six
days after throwing 131 in a no-decision against San Diego. He gave
up six runs, four earned, on eight hits in 6 2-3 innings. He struck
out four and walked five.
The Giants are 10-for-22 with the bases loaded this season.
... Arizona RHP Jose Valverde, activated from the 15-day DL earlier
in the day, threw a scoreless inning and reached 95 mph on the
radar gun in his first appearance since last June 13. ... Arizona
opened a 10-game home stand.